(KTVI)- The flu season in Missouri is shaping up to be one of the worst in three years. So far this flu season, 1335 people in St. Louis County have gotten the illness. That’s only about 90 less than in all of last year and there are still three months left in the flu season.
The good news: people who receive a flu shot are getting a vaccine that is right on target in fighting viruses.
At Ladue Pharmacy, they’ve sold double the amount of flu medicine since November as compared to last year.
Pharmacist Angie Kloeppel said, “The flu season is staring to pickup. We’re getting busier each day with the flu.”
Only about 47 percent of Americans get a flu shot. Experts at the Vaccine Center at Saint Louis University play a vital role in developing the vaccine. They have to decide about a year in advance what to put into the shot. Dr. Donald Kennedy,who works at the Vaccine Center, says the experts did a good job.
“When they decide what strains to put in they try to put in strains they predict will match this year. There’s been a very good match of multiple strains of the flu virus.”
In some cases the vaccine is a 98 percent match to the illness meaning folks are well protected.
The flu kills some 40,000 Americans each year.
Dr. Kennedy said, “The influenza vaccine may not only prevent you from ever experiencing the flu but if you do experience the flu you may have a much milder case.”
The season runs into April and it’s almost never too late to get the shot.